Top 10 arguments I’ve heard about how 4e “destroys role-playing” (emphasis mine):
1) X (Gnomes, Bards, Drow, Half-Carrots, etc.) is missing. I can’t
play what I always play, therefore, it cramps my “role-playing”.
2) There are no “fluff” skills. I can’t take 5 ranks in Craft
(Basketweaving), thus the system doesn’t let me express my character.
3) My character must now be useful in a combat. I can no longer make
a character who is useless in combat, so it cramps my role-playing of
the sickly half-demon with the penchant for crayon-chewing.
4) The book gives a whole lot of options for what to do round by
round in a combat situation, but very few options (2-3 skills) for what
to do when I’m talking in character. Essentially, it continues the
proud tradition of the dicelessness of D&D for non-combat
5) Because the combat system offers more options, it slows combat down for new players, thus leaving less time for role-playing.
6) The combat system rewards PCs for cooperative action, thus
punishing me from running off and stabbing the bad guy on my own. I now
must discuss my “tactics” with the rest of the party, which cramps the
chaotic nature of how I like to “role-play” my character.
7) I can no longer have my spellcaster take a bunch of extra spells
that help define the deep inner angst of his upbringing as a blind
bookbinder’s illegitimate son. I now am limited to Spells which are
actually useful in combat, and Rituals that are actually useful at all.
8) It’s hard for me to make my Fighter have different abilities in
combat that are still cool. That guy across the table has the same
powers as me. If everyone is special, no one is.
9) The items and monsters are heavy on stats and combat abilities,
and short on descriptive fluff. I must now invent my own idea of how
10) The guy sitting across from me is a half-demon and/or a humanoid dragon. How can I take this seriously?